What Did You Learn From Working as a Teenager?

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Did you have a job when you were younger? Of course you did – we all pretty much had to! How else were you going to fill your gas tank, be able to take your date to the movies, or hang out with our friends? (Unless you were one of those kids with the rich parents ….)What do you remember the most about working as a teen? The crappy hours? The repulsive tasks that no one else wanted to do? The impossible and un-pleaseable customers? Working ALL week long to make a few hundred dollars?One of my first jobs ever was working in a restaurant. I started off as a bus-boy running lighting speed from table to table, clearing and cleaning it so that the customers could get seated faster. After a few years I worked my way up to take-out and … [Read more...]

Weekend Wind Down 4/28/2012

Following the last post “The Value of What You Know”, I found a hilarious example to use as a follow-up and lighten the mood. What is it that this guy “knows” and is using to draw value from others? … Fighting Zombies of course!!!That’s right! There is a place in South Jersey that is offering a “Zombie Survival Course”. The program prepares you for the “upcoming zombie apocalypse” through teaching you to shoot guns, hot wire cars, perform first aid, and even the martial arts of “Zombitsu”. So how much does it cost to learn these life-saving survival skills? Packages run anywhere from $149 to $425 per person! Click on the video to see some great footage (I apologize in advance for the advertisement in the beginning). … [Read more...]

The Value of What You Know

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Are you an expert in something? You may or may not think so, but chances are that you may be. Sometimes we take for granted all the knowledge we accumulate about a hobby or subject, and don’t realize just how valuable it may be to someone else.One of my favorite lessons that illustrates this point is “The Story of the Repairman”. The story goes like this: The Story of the Repairman: A large factory is producing several thousands of dollars of goods. One day, one of the machines goes down and the boss is frantic! “We can’t go down, we’ve got orders to fill! Call a repairman at once!” … [Read more...]

How to Pick Good Mutual Funds for Your 401k or Retirement Plan

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Let me see if I can describe how your employer 401k (or 403b, etc) retirement plan orientation went: • You all walked into a meeting. • An HR administrator handed you a folder chucked full of loose documents. • You were released with little direction and told to bring the papers back all filled in. Am I close?It’s pretty sad that something so important to our livelihoods later on in life is treated as another routine task. There are many things that should be explained to you when you sign up for your 401k (click here for my complete guide on this topic).But if there’s one thing where people REALLY need help, it’s deciding which mutual funds to pick for their plan. Past returns? Large cap / small cap? Expense ratios? What does … [Read more...]

Weekend Wind Down 4/21/2012

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I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I made a little mistake last week when I ordered the 7 yards of slate stone …. I needed 3 more yards! Mrs MMD and I shoveled and spread rocks for hours and hours on Saturday only to have to make another order and finish the job on Tuesday. So after all of that, was it worth it? I think so! The landscaping looks much better than it ever has! I will have pictures once everything starts to bloom (and I get a chance to mow the lawn).Work was BUSY this week. I unfortunately did not have as much time as I usually do to devote to preparing my articles and making my rounds to my friends’ blogs. And speaking of commitments, at least one evening during the week and our Saturdays have been assigned to our … [Read more...]

Don’t Forget About One of Your Biggest Investments – Your Marriage

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There have been some HARD TIMES in the MMD neighborhood over the years. As I walk the Beagle or go through the neighborhood with my kids, there is one giant give-away. It’s a distinguishing, symbolic figure that always means bad news: The lock box.Whenever someone has a lock box on their front door, it usually means one of three things: 1) The family is moving. Likely they will be selling their house at a loss. 2) The house is in foreclosure and the bank has taken back procession of the house. 3) The couple has split up in divorce which will ultimately lead back to either #1 or #2. A neighborhood of your peers is a lot like junior high and it doesn’t take long to find out which of these three reasons is the root cause of the change. … [Read more...]

Book Review: “Unfair Advantage” by Robert Kiyosaki

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Not too long ago, I wrote a post called “Are We Fools For Saving Our Money?” The inspiration for it came from several themes I read in the book “Unfair Advantage: The Power of Financial Education” by Robert Kiyosaki. Although we explored both sides of Kiyosaki’s opinions, I felt as though there was still quite a bit of the book to review and I wanted to do it justice.  So here is my book review.In case you’ve never read anything by Robert Kiyosaki, here’s a brief overview: Take on massive amounts of debt, don’t save your money, and the future of our economy is in deep trouble! Now why in the world would I recommend reading a book like that?Because it reminds me that there is more than one way to become independently wealthy! Robert … [Read more...]

Before Retirement, Eliminate Your Biggest Expense

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Frequently when you think of planning for retirement or becoming financially free in general, you think about how much money you’ll need to save in order to generate the kind of income that you’re use to. For example, how can I save $1,250,000 so that I can draw 4% and take out $50,000 each year?In this post, we’ll look at the other side of the coin. Instead, we’ll look for a way to reduce how much income you’ll actually need while on your own. And how will we do this? By focusing in on one of your largest expenses – your mortgage. … [Read more...]